13 March, 2008
As part of a Budget that promises to advance the housing sector, new measures offer support to three current political hot potatoes: tackling climate change, building 'green' communities and meeting the need for more affordable housing.
This latest Budget comes at a time when a significant proportion of the population is struggling to get onto the property ladder, due to decades of under-development and a failure by the government to build enough houses, a sentiment recently echoed by the former deputy prime minister John Prescott in a speech to the Chartered Institute of Housing.
In response to the growing problem the government has announced that 3 million new homes are to be built by 2020.
New figures announced in the Budget reveal that progress is being made in reaching this ambitious target: 2006 / 2007 saw 200,000 extra homes built in England, up from 185,000 in the previous year.
However, with homes accounting for more than a quarter of national carbon emissions there is a much recognized need that, in today's climate, merely meeting this target is not enough. The homes that need to be built have to be built to a high standard which offers both a sustainable and 'green' solution to the housing shortage.
In light of this need, the current Budget attempts to support the delivery of the housing Britain urgently needs whilst, in turn, meeting people's aspirations to own their own home in addition to ensuring the government is honouring its climate change commitments.